miércoles, 15 de octubre de 2014
Archaeologists have uncovered what could be a prehistoric barbeque pit used by large bands of hunters at the Prastio-Mesorotsos site in the Paphos district.
According to the antiquities department the team of archaeologists led by a University of Edinburgh professor, examined the prehistoric remains from the site, which was later settled during various other eras in antiquity.
It said the earliest deposits on the site dated to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period – around 8000 BC to 7000 BC – and revealed storage pits and food preparation areas.
Two features from different areas of the site also revealed sophisticated pyrotechnology.
In one instance, a large stone-lined pit showed evidence of burning and was filled with a concentration of ash.
“If this feature was for roasting food, this pit-roast technique would have served the needs of a great number of people, possibly bands of hunters exploiting the upland resources,” said a statement from the antiquities department.
In another area, a smaller scale but roughly contemporary feature was an above-ground mud-built (pisé) domed structure similar to a tanour or kleftiko type oven. “This smaller domed oven could have been used for baking bread or roasting meat, but represents domestic-scale usage attesting to a diversity of activities,” it added.
Very close to the domed oven was an “enigmatic” series of shallow pits, at least 12 in total, that were cut into one another by the ancient inhabitants over a long period of time, from the Pre-pottery Neolithic to the Ceramic (Late) Neolithic phase of the site.
Many of these pits were filled deliberately with carefully-placed special objects, attesting occupational longevity and social memory of activity spaces. The antiquities department said the concentration of pits and the repeated use of them for disposing of unusual objects hinted at special behaviours and rituals.
Previous excavations at the site have revealed an extensive and complicated Bronze Age sequence of occupation complete with houses and work areas.
Major changes in artefacts and architecture showing the transition of the site from the Early (2400 BC) to Middle Cypriot Bronze Age (1900 BC-1600 BC) have also been noted.
The Middle Cypriot period was when the inhabitants began to intensify their lifestyle and social organisation. Massive construction had taken place just before the site was abandoned near the end of the Middle Cypriot period, not to be resettled again until after the Late Bronze Age (1300 BC-1200 BC), the Geometric (1050 BC-700 BC) and later periods.
This year’s excavations were conducted from June 9 to July 13. The team was led by Dr Andrew McCarthy, Fellow of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, and Director of the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI). Jean Christou / cyprus-mail.com
Actualización 03-09-15: Recreated Pit Roast Offers a Taste of Stone Age Life
Before there was pottery in Cyprus, there was barbecue.
And in the spirit of the Stone Age, archaeologists on the Mediterranean island recreated a prehistoric pit feast this summer — feeding 200 people with pig and goat, slow-roasted underground — to test the cooking methods of Neolithic chefs.
A 9,000-year-old barbecue pit was recently discovered at Prastio Mesorotsos, a site in the Diarizos Valley outside of Paphos, which has been almost continuously occupied from the Neolithic era to the present. It took three years of excavations before archaeologists from the University of Edinburgh got to the bottom of the stone-lined, ash-covered pit, and only last summer could they say with some certainty that they were looking at an ancient oven. But the pit was so big — about 8 feet (2.5 meters) across and 3 feet (1 meter) deep — that Andrew McCarthy, director of the expedition, wasn't sure if cooking in it would actually work...
Actualización: Completion of the archaeological investigations at the multi-period site of Prastio-Mesorotsos / Link 2
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces the completion of the 2016 University of Edinburgh archaeological investigations at the multi-period site of Prastio-Mesorotsos in the Pafos district.
The expedition is under the direction of Dr Andrew McCarthy, Fellow of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, and Director of the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI).
According to an official press release, this year’s investigations took place between the 24 July to 24 August 2016.
The project involves the cooperation of an interna.tional team of specialists and field school students. In the ninth season of activity at the site, the team excavated in four areas, exposing prehistoric remains from the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and the Early and Middle Bronze Ages, as well as a small area of Late Roman/Byzantine occupation.
Additionally, this season a survey and geophysical prospection of an area on the opposite bank of the Dhiarizos River, near the abandoned village of Prasteio, was conducted.
The earliest evidence for the use of the site dates to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period.
In 2016 the team excavated a remarkable set of shallow pits, many of which contained special broken objects placed in a ritualistic manner, including picrolite objects, stone vessels and human remains...
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